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Fruits, Vegetables and Pesticide Residues: Should I Bother Washing?

Despite the amount of conflicting information surrounding produce and removing pesticides, as in whether or not washing has any effect, two studies confirm that it is in fact, better to do something rather than nothing at all.

The earlier study, carried out by Chavarri (2004) revealed that simple washing wasn't very effective, while peeling and blanching were more, and cooking was the most effective means of getting rid of getting rid of ethylenebisdithiocarbamates (a widely used group of fungicides). Randhawa's study (2007), however, showed that even cooking wasn't enough to reduce the number of endosulifans, an off-patent insecticide and acaricide that's thankfully been phased out after being added to the UN's list of persistent organic pollutants.

While cooking methods did vary, the standardized method by which the researchers washed the produce they tested was actually quite simple. The the veggies were placed in a dish or clean sink with warm tap water and cleaned with "gentle rotations of the hand" (Randhawa. 2007), before being blotted dry with a conventional paper towel.

The bottom line? It's worthwhile to wash and lightly scrub fruits and vegetables by hand in warm water between 28-32 °C even if you don't plan to cook them, and it's better than just rinsing them or worse, just using them as is.

For the complete article, check it out over at SuppVersity.


  • Nathan Kan
  • Food SafetyFruitsPesticidesProduceVegetables

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